Pastiche on Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”

Passage 1

At this time I knew, that this merry place blanketed in snow was the mall; and that Santa, jolly in his ways, and also Buddy elf of Santa, were cozy and warm; and that Oliver, Emma, Harry, Thomas, and David, tots of the waiting parents, were giddy yet composed; and that the spectacular landscape beyond the scene, crossed with trees and bells and wreathes, with rowdy shoppers crowding through, was the gates; and that the red and white line beyond, was candy cane lane; and that the distant candy hut from which shouts of joy came, was Santa’s; and that the mound of Christmas joy taking in the season and beginning to smile, was me.

Passage 2

A jolly man, all in soft red, with a great sack on his shoulder. A man with a hat, and with black boots, and with a pipe in his mouth. A man who had been dusted in soot, and powdered by snow, and fattened by cookies, and bit by frost, and warmed by smoke, and framed by beard; who bounced, and laughed, and beamed, and smoked; and whose sleigh jingled as he flew through the night.

Antigone Personal Response

In the play Antigone, by Sophocles, we admire Antigone and her actions because she is, among other characteristics, the courageous person we all wish to be. Courage is often seen as the most important human characteristic by many famous philosophers. For example, Aristotle states that:

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others. -Aristotle

An example in the book where we can see Antigone’s true courage (true courage being courage with no personal gain or non-moral justification) is when Antigone openly defies the law to do what is right, and when confronted by Creon (the king), she says,

I did it. I don’t deny a thing… These laws–I was not about to break them, not out of fear of some man’s wounded pride, and face retribution of the gods. Die I must, I’ve known it all my life. [p. 81 ln. 492, and p.82 ln. 509-513]

We can see true courage here, specifically when she says, “I don’t deny a thing” because she leaves herself defenceless to all the consequences. In conclusion, Antigone embodies the most important human characteristic of courage by not only defying law and risking her life to do what is right but by also facing the consequences.

Oedipus the King Reflection

         Oedipus the King, by Sophocles was, in the beginning, very puzzling to me, because I wondered how anyone in today’s world could relate to the characters in Oedipus in any way. Something that Mr.MacKnight had been hinting at throughout our class discussions. The more I read, however, the more I understood how writing analysts made the comparisons from Oedpius to modern mankind. It’s not common, of course, for someone in today’s world to kill their father and marry their mother along with all the other treachery Oedipus commits, but those are simply exaggerated metaphors for things we do see in today’s world. The largest piece of Oedipus that carries over into the modern era is his infamous stubborn unwillingness to see the truth (ignorance) and short temper. We see subtly this trait in Oedipus throughout the play but a time when it is clear is when Oedipus is speaking to a messenger from Corinth,

Oedipus:  “What are you saying–Polybus was not my father?” Messenger: “No more than I am. He and I are equals.” Oedipus: “My father–how can my father equal nothing? You’re nothing to me!”

From this we can see both his ignorance, as he fails to understand he was adopted, and his fiery temper, as he lashes out at the messenger for simply trying to deliver the truth. I can see this in my life, specifically through one of my friends, who in math class will occasionally get a question wrong and instead of admitting to the mistake and correcting it they will defend their answer, thinking it’s the truth even when it’s not, as well as lashing out often with insults regarding my math. In conclusion many traits of Oedipus, including temper and ignorance can unfortunately be seen in our world today.

Summer Reading Blog Post 21 September 2021

      Enough is Enough, by Laura Bates, is a blog article about sexism related issues, such as consent and image, that Bates along with many other blog users have experienced. Bates summarizes these accounts in her article explaining how this sexism happens to almost every woman, in almost every situation, and at any age. Bates also touched on the negligence and denial regarding sexism saying how it wasn’t just men who believed that sexism was no longer an issue but also a very significant portion of women. Bates found that the type of sexism varied with age, with women around 18 and above facing a world with less opportunities and more direct sexual abuse, and women 18 and below facing a world with a more passive version of sexual abuse (verbal) and appearance discrimination; there were, however, some sexist issues found throughout all ages of women and that had to do with consent. Her main point through her article is that “enough is enough” and that people need to change, not through any constitution or big change in the law, but change the way they think. This is a very powerful and progressive opinion especially for the time it was written, however, its message is important and has inspired many women to stand up against oppressive sexism both major and minor.